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„Samt höfum við vitað þetta allan tímann“: orðræðan um börnin á Kópavogshæli

„Samt höfum við vitað þetta allan tímann“: orðræðan um börnin á Kópavogshæli


Titill: „Samt höfum við vitað þetta allan tímann“: orðræðan um börnin á Kópavogshæli
Aðrir titlar: The discourse concerning Kópavogur Institute
Höfundur: Stefánsdóttir, Guðrún V.
Útgáfa: 2017-12-31
Tungumál: Íslenska
Umfang: 1-15
Háskóli/Stofnun: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
Svið: Menntavísindasvið (HÍ)
School of education (UI)
Birtist í: Netla sérrit 2017;(Menntakvika 2017)
ISSN: 1670-0244
Efnisorð: Kópavogshæli; Orðræðugreining; Ofbeldi gegn börnum; Ofbeldi gegn fötluðum; Börn; Þroskahamlaðir
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/590

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Tilvitnun:

Guðrún V. Stefánsdóttir. (2017). ,,Samt höfum við vitað þetta allan tímann“ Orðræðan um börnin á Kópavogshæli. Netla – Veftímarit um uppeldi og menntun: Sérrit 2017 – Menntavika 2017. Sótt af http://netla.hi.is/serrit/2017/menntavika_2017/003.pdf

Útdráttur:

 
Í árslok 2016 kom út skýrsla um könnun á vistun barna á Kópavogshæli á árunum 1952– 1993. Í niðurstöðum skýrslunnar kom meðal annars fram að börn á Kópavogshæli hefðu sætt ofbeldi, illri meðferð og vanrækslu. Í kjölfar útkomu skýrslunnar varð mikil umræða í frétta- og vefmiðlum. Í greininni er leitast við að rýna í eðli þeirrar orðræðu sem fram fór og til þess nýttar aðferðir sögulegrar orðræðugreiningar. Í orðræðugreiningunni þróuðust þrír meginorðræðuflokkar: Í fyrsta lagi lærdóms- og baráttuorðræða sem var fyrirferðarmest í gögnunum. Lærdóms- og baráttuorðræðan var í anda félagslegs mannréttindaskilnings á fötlun þar sem litið var svo á að ofbeldið og vanrækslan gagnvart börnunum á Kópavogshæli væri mannréttindabrot sem stjórnvöldum bæri að bæta fyrir. Orðræðan snerist einnig um kröfuna um aukinn rétt fötluðu fólki til handa og vakin var athygli á að enn skortir mikið á að mannréttindi þess séu virt. Í öðru lagi kom fram eins konar varnar- eða réttlætingarorðræða fyrrverandi starfsfólks um það að hafa lítið getað spornað gegn því ofbeldi sem börnin á Kópavogshæli urðu fyrir. Fram kom að stjórnvöld hefðu brugðist börnunum á hælinu á meðan starfsfólkið reyndi að gera sitt besta við ömurlegar aðstæður. Gagnstætt þeim félagslega mannréttindaskilningi sem greina mátti í lærdóms- og baráttuorðræðunni kom þarna skýrt fram læknisfræðilegur skilningur á fötlun þar sem börnunum var lýst sem fórnarlömbum í þörf fyrir gæsku og bent á fórnarlund starfsfólksins sem vann á hælinu. Í þriðja lagi kom fram gagnrýnin orðræða fatlaðra aðgerðasinna en hún skar sig mest úr orðræðunni um Kópavogshælið. Þar voru fjölmiðlar harðlega gagnrýndir fyrir að hafa ekki leitað eftir áliti fatlaðs fólks á skýrslunni og því ofbeldi sem börnin urðu fyrir. Auk þess kom fram gagnrýni á það að ófatlað fólk hefði einokað orðræðuna um Kópavogshælið, eins og einkennt hefði orðræðu um fatlað fólk frá örófi alda.
 
At the end of 2016 a report was published relating to an investigation into the circumstances of children residing in Kópavogur Institute during the period 1952-1993. A committee, appointed by the Prime Ministry, compiled the report, the main aim of which was to investigate whether and, if so, to what extent children resident in Kópavogur Institute had been badly-treated or subjected to violence during their stay. The conclusions of the report present a highly negative perspective of the children‘s circumstances, indicating that children at Kópavogur Institute were the victims of significant violence, bad-treatment and neglect. The publication of the report gave rise to extensive news and web media coverage and this article attempts to analyse the characteristics of the consequent discourse, using the methodology of historical discourse analysis (Foucault, 1972). This research covered the time interval from 7 February until the end of March 2017; that is, the period when the discourse on the report reached its highest level. The article seeks to answer the following questions: What is it that characterises the discourse on Kópavogur Institute? Which common threads are found in the discourse and which contradictions? The research also posed the question of how far the discourse reflects a social human rights perception of disability and whether/how ableism can be detected within the discourse. The discursive themes which repeated themselves in the data were emotions such as sorrow, anger and shame; sorrow because of the violence and neglect the children at Kópavogur Institute were subjected to; anger directed towards the authorities, the management and staff of the institute and shame felt by the children‘s close relatives and staff because they could not prevent, or did not even notice, what was happening at the institute. Three main discourse themes were developed in the discourse analysis: The first discourse theme mainly focused on what can be learned from the outcome of the report. This discourse was most conspicuous and occurred within all the three discourse themes. The discourse was in the spirit of a social and human rights perception of disability, where the violence and neglect the children at Kópavogur Institute were subjected to was regarded as a human rights violation for which the authorities had incurred liability. It was maintained that the violence towards the children and the neglect they suffered was of social origin where obstacles such as negative attitudes and ideological systems, lack of services, staff shortages and inadequate official supervision had led to the conditions identified at Kópavogur Institute. The discourse also expressed the demand that current rights of persons with disabilities must be improved, and emphasised serious failings in respecting t human rights. Secondly, defensive and justificatory discourse occurred. This discourse contained significant contradictions. On the one hand, a social and human rights understanding was identified, similar to that expressed in the first discourse theme, described above. On the other hand, a distinct medical perception of disability was also expressed, where the violence towards the children was justified, placing them in the roles of victims in need of the care and kindness administered by the staff at the institution. Thirdly, critical discourse developed originating among disabled activists. This discourse stood out most among the discourse themes relating to Kópavogur Institute. The media were severely criticised for not taking interest in the reactions of disabled people to the report and the violence the children had to endure. Strong disapproval was also expressed with a view to the fact that non-disabled people had monopolised the discourse on the Kópavogur Institute and that a professional organisation, Þroskaþjálfafélag Íslands (the Association of Icelandic Social Educators), had made use of the violence towards children at the institute as a tool in the struggle for improved pay and terms of employment. As a whole, therefore, it may be concluded that one of the characteristics of the discourse regarding Kópavogur Institute was its domination by people without disabilities so that it mostly comprised the dialogue of the non-disabled about disabled people. As Foucault (1972) pointed out, discourse analysis enables us to identify power and power relationships in modern societies. People without disabilities have, through history, controlled the discourse about disabled people who themselves have not been given the opportunity to influence the general debate on their own situation in society. This is clearly brought out in the discourse relating to Kópavogur Institute, since, as disabled activists pointed out, the media did not show an interest in adding their voices or opinions to the ongoing debate.
 

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